Rushed to the hospital, 15-year-old Scott Caffee didnt know whether his family members had escaped the fire.
Early Thursday morning, Caffee escaped the burning duplex at 504 Carmen Place along with his older brother and stepfather.
He was in his hospital room at The Childrens Hospital at The Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon when his grandmother broke the news. His math team coach, Kimberlyn Carter was nearby.
He said, I knew that something was wrong with my mom ... I didnt see my mom, Carter said.
The boys mother, Jennifer Caffee, died in the blaze along with her three daughters: 13-year-old Elizabeth Caffee, 10-year-old Wendy Chapman and 5-year-old Holly Tucker.
It took firefighters several hours to pull them all from the super-heated brick building located on the corner of San Carlos Drive in Macons Lynmore Estates.
Scott Caffee suffered smoke inhalation and was listed in good condition Friday.
His breathing has been labored and hes using extra oxygen a good bit, Carter said.
He still feels like he smells smoke, Carter said.
Its still in his system.
People who have known the Caffee family for years say the family wasnt just tight knit.
Where you saw one, you saw the others. They were always together, said Bonny Adams, the secretary at Countryside Baptist Church, where the family has attended for more than a dozen years.
The children were there anytime the church doors were open. The church is located on Carmen Place, just a short walk from the familys home.
Jennifer Caffee attended church when she could, but she spent a lot of her time caring for Wendy, who suffered from cerebral palsy and used a wheelchair. Wendy attended on special occasions, Adams said.
Carter met the family about six years ago when she was teaching Scotts older brother Brandons fourth-grade class at Bruce Elementary.
She remembers Elizabeth stopping by to let her know that she was going to be sure that Brandon was going to have a good day.
In time, Carter met the other children.
While teaching at Bruce, she helped Elizabeth become tested for the gifted program. She also helped Wendy enroll at Rosa Taylor Elementary.
After leaving the school last year to become the school systems director of Strategic Partnerships and Director of the Welcome Center, she helped enroll Holly in school.
Jennifer Caffee was the kind of mother who believed in meeting her childrens teachers and liked to be the class mom.
Living in a poor area of Macon, the family didnt have a lot.
When it came time for a school cookout or picnic, Caffee would bring what she could, Carter said.
The children all showed respect, care and concern for other people, she said.
Jennifer was such an amazingly sweet and caring mother, Carter said. She instilled that type of sweet, caring and compassion, big-hearted love in all of her children.
To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.